• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12172

    Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art

    13 September 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 250

    A BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA

    THAILAND, MON-DVARAVATI PERIOD, 8TH/9TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA
    THAILAND, MON-DVARAVATI period, 8TH/9TH CENTURY
    21 ¼ in. (54.6 cm.) high


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Bronze figures of Buddha from this period are very rare, and this one even more so due to its large size. Compare with a partially intact eighth-century figure of Buddha, now at the National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh (Ga5412, see H.Jessup and T.Zéphir, Millennium of Glory, Washington, 1997, pp.150-1, fig.5). Both wear the heavy uttarasanga over one arm, leaving the right shoulder bare. The garment models the body similarly in both examples, the hem undulating slightly around the pectoral muscles, and closely sheathing the body to reveal the flesh of the belly below rounding out slightly above the dhoti. Jean Boisselier has hypothesized that the drapery flowing around the wrist is a chronological marker, dating the present work no earlier than the eighth century.

    Another closely related figure in silver alloy, now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (see J. Guy, Lost Kingdoms, New Haven, 2014, p.210, cat.120), is nearly as complete as the present example, missing only the left foot. Both figures have similarly rendered hems on their garments, and identical gestures, though reversed. They also have the markedly arched eyebrows and the high, pointed ushnishas that are characteristic of Mon-Dvaravati Buddha images from this period.

    Provenance

    Acquired by the family of the present owner on 24 January 1968; thence by descent.